UC San Diego Health Becomes First in Region to Perform Dual-Chamber, Leadless Pacemaker Implantation

UC San Diego Health Achieves Groundbreaking Implantation of Leadless Pacemaker System for Irregular Heart Rhythms

In San Diego, UC San Diego Health has achieved a significant milestone by successfully implanting the world’s first dual chamber and leadless pacemaker system. This innovative system aims to help individuals with irregular heart rhythms, known as arrhythmias, that can lead to complications like palpitations, fainting, and stroke.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of arrhythmia, estimated to affect around 12.1 million people in the United States by 2030 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are the standard treatments used to regulate irregular heartbeats.

However, a new leadless pacemaker system offers a more minimally invasive option for patients by being placed in both chambers of the heart and utilizing novel communication technology. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2023, this advancement in technology opens up new possibilities for treating individuals with heart arrhythmias.

UC San Diego Health conducted the first implantation of the pacemaker system in a patient in February 2024. Dr. Ulrika Birgersdotter-Green, a cardiologist and the director of pacemaker and ICD services at UC San Diego Health, highlighted the importance of having the option to use a leadless pacemaker system on both sides of the heart to treat more individuals living with heart arrhythmias.

It is essential to note that nearly 80% of patients who receive a pacemaker require a dual chamber option. While leadless pacemakers have been preferred by patients due to their minimally invasive nature, they were typically only available for individuals needing pacing on one side of the heart. This recent development represents a significant step forward in the treatment of arrhythmias and offers new hope for patients in need of such interventions.

The new leadless pacemaker system uses novel communication technology to enable both sides of the heart to receive pacing signals simultaneously from an external device worn on or near the skin surface above

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